Bulfin and Wexford focused on the future
As the start of the Wexford’s championship campaign approaches excitement levels are building around the county.
Since Davy Fitzgerald took over in late 2016 the team have been making steady progress on the pitch, while off it the people of Wexford have been getting behind the team.
Innovate Wexford Park has become synonymous with big crowds and cracking atmospheres.
“Some days, I will be honest, it is a pressure and some days it is a positive,” explains Wexford selector Seoirse Bulfin.
“The one thing I would have to say is from the first minute when we started working down there in Wexford there has been immense positivity.
“Even the days we had setbacks – like the last day against Kilkenny when we would be very disappointed with our performance for the supporters and for the crowd that turned up.
“They still, to be fair, were very, very positive. It is great to have crowds coming like that, but you have to manage that situation.
“Obviously with crowds like that comes expectation so some days it is a positive and some days you wonder is it a bit of a negative when you feel that expectation. So far the guys seem to be able to cope with it.”
Wexford lost the Allianz League semi-final to Kilkennny last month.
They started the game well, racing into an early lead of 1-02 to 0-01.
However, Brian Cody’s men quickly took control and ran out winners on a scoreline of 1-27 to 2-15 in front of a crowd of 16,452 at Wexford Park. It was a tough defeat to take.
“When you put in a performance like that it is only natural that you are going to be disappointed,” said Bulfin.
“Davy doesn’t even have to say that, the players themselves were very adamant about being disappointed.
“The support has been phenomenal from day one with the Wexford people. With a performance like that you are going to be disappointed, you are going to feel as if you let people down, that is more or less a collective thing.”
The new round-robin format in the Leinster championship got under way last week with Galway and Offaly meeting in Tullamore and Dublin and Kilkenny facing off in Parnell Park.
It means more games for the counties involved and Bulfin is looking forward to the Model County’s opening clash.
“It is very exciting, Davy and I were only saying from the start of pre-season it seems to have flown,” he added.
“Everything has been condensed and moved forward a little bit. So it is very exciting to be getting ready for the first game of the Championship.
“We have four games in 21 days which will present its own challenges really.
“It is fantastic, every team starting out in the Liam MacCarthy Cup this year is guaranteed four matches.
“It has never happened before so there is a certain amount of intrigue, there is a lot of talk about it.
“People are wondering about how it will go considering you have so many matches in quick succession, but it is fantastic to be part of it. Any guy that is involved, to be in four matches is a plus.”
In 2017 Wexford were defeated by Galway in the Leinster final and then went on to lose to Waterford in the All-Ireland quarter-final. It was a positive year for the county but they are focused on looking to the future.
Bulfin said: “Last year is very much a thing of the past. When you wrap up the year you take what you can from it. Once you start a new campaign you start fresh again.
“Last year was good, but ultimately you didn’t win anything. You were competitive and in 1A our main aim was to stay there and we did that with a game to spare.
“Ultimately we were disappointed being well beaten by Kilkenny in the semi-final. We have to regroup after that to go again for Championship.”
Wexford play Dublin on Sunday in Wexford Park in the Leinster.
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